District play is underway for the Socorro Lady Warriors. Hot Springs came to town on October 19 for a three game evening showdown with the varsity group finishing things off with a three set sweep of the Lady Tigers, winning the final matchup in a close one 25-21.
“This one feels great,” head coach JB Mauldin said. “I knew that if our girls came out and played our type of volleyball mentally we would be successful. This was a big win for us.”
It was not a clean sweep for the Lady Warriors as the “C” team struggled early with Hot Springs scoring eight straight to get the ball rolling. It took two straight Lady Tigers misses at the net to get Socorro back in it. Freshman Morgan Perkins and Amber Giron had great dives and battles at the net. It was not enough as the Lady Warriors youth went down in straight sets, 25-14 and 25-11.
“C” team head coach Morgan Guernsey was vocal on the sidelines to her players and was also encouraged by what she saw early on the floor.
“This team has definitely improved from where we started,” she said. “Getting these players to grow throughout our program is the key. Getting these players to grow to the point in which they are varsity is what we are all about. The best thing I saw tonight is these girls did not give up.”
Fortunes did not favor the Lady Warriors JV team when they hit the floor next. Socorro started off on a 7-1 run that had Hot Springs calling for a timeout. Socorro got shocked with Hot Springs going on a roll to win 25-19, aided by the precision serves of Lady Cougars sophomore Arianna Alaniz. 15-5 in the third and final set got the crowd ready for the main event.
The student sections for both teams were crowded as the Lady Warriors sprung out of the locker room. Chants from the Hot Springs bleachers showed that this team came to play. Lady Tigers head coach Robert Haro had his crew preparing for the challenge during the previous two evening games.
“We understand that this is a really good team,” he said. “All that we can do is play our best tonight and see what happens. Our team is gradually focusing in mental toughness so we’ll see how we do tonight.”
It did not take long for the Lady Warriors to get rolling, scoring the first three points in the varsity matchup. The “HERE WE GO WARRIORS!” chants began. The combination of senior Taelene Fowler and junior Analyz Alderete were unstoppable at the net early on. It was not easy as Hot springs refused to go away. A big strike by senior Alex Peralta to the left corner had the home crowd on its feet.
Things were far from over. Coach Mauldin had to call time with the Lady Tigers taking a four point lead against his team. Well timed move as the Lady Warriors went on a run with Fowler sealing the deal on a decisive strike to finish set one 24-20 Socorro.
At that point it was clearly the Lady Warriors night. Hot Springs scored first at the top of the second set. That was the last semblance of hope for the visiting team. The Lady Tigers never gave up, in particular on a dive by senior Madison Green as she went tumbling into the stands during a save attempt which had coaches from both sides of the court rushing to see if the player was OK. Green was able to walk it off and continued to battle with all of the fans clapping.
After the game Lady Warriors outside hitter Marissa Jacquez was celebrating with teammates and family during the big district win.
“This is big for us,” she said. “Our team is so tough and all we can do is keep getting better every week. Our next opponent is what we are focused on. I can’t wait to play with my girls the next night.”
Coach Mauldin is happy with the direction his team is going as the Lady Warriors head into the tail end of the regular season.
“I saw a lot of positives here tonight,” he said. “We served the ball well. Our passing was great which is what we try to do every game. Obviously we have some mistakes to clean up in practice. Fortunately it was the little things and we were able to come up with a team win when we needed it.”
The Lady Warriors won again last, beating Cobre in straight sets. They will be on the road for its next three games before returning to Socorro for its final regular season game on November 4.
3A 3 District Standings:
- Socorro; 11-4.
- Hot Springs; 14-6.
- Cobre; 8-11.